Sunday, April 29, 2012

Adoption day is here!!!!!!!!!!!

I thought that deserved an overuse of exclamation marks.

I'm sorry I didn't post ahead of time. We only found out the date this past Wednesday (my god, that really was fast for a change) and have been crazy busy since then. Things are not going to let up next week either. Our appointment is with the Judge in his chambers at 4pm Central time. Hopefully he will be on time because we are then rushing to a celebratory dinner and getting M to her school by 6 for the dinner theater she is performing in. Tuesday is also dinner theater, the one we are all going to. Wednesday M requested that we go to her old church for teen worship, and Thursday M is leaving on a school trip 2 states away (man am I jealous - I LOVE the area she is going to) and not returning until after midnight on Saturday. Sunday is her 15th birthday party, which is why the court date came up so fast. Everyone wanted to get her adopted before her birthday.

YIKES!

I will probably not be posting for at least anther week but if you have to know how things went try emailing me.

We will officially be a family of four! I wish I could go back and tell the me that left the hospital empty handed on New Year's day 2 years ago that this was going to happen. What a difference it makes having another person to take care of and love.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hello, blog.

It's been making me crazy that I haven't had time to visit here. I can tell by all the support I've gotten lately that I still have readers. Thank you for sticking around.

Things are picking up in intensity pretty much everywhere right now. We signed the papers at the lawyers last Monday and are just waiting for the call that we have a court date. Unbelievable! The same week we finally got placement, only 3 months after the child moved in with us! Placement means that she is officially in our custody and we get the stipend check for her. It is ridiculous that it took so long. Things are getting harder. M is pushing more and more at Dad and he falls into the argument trap nearly every time. It's frustrating and hard to watch. I made a family appointment with the new therapist, which the therapist and I agreed on the last time I saw her, hoping that she could help him learn to communicate. She spent the whole time focusing on what M could do to avoid getting into arguments with Dad. That's great, I suppose, but she's not the whole problem, maybe not even half. I was really hoping the therapist would spend more time on building their relationship, but she didn't even seem to want us there. She specifically asked that we not come to the next session. I know from the research I've done and some of the blogs I've read that this is pretty much the opposite of what you want with attachment issues, but I think I'm okay with it for now. M needs a safe place to tell someone she is mad at us, or her life sucks, or she just wants to go live with her brother. I'm going to watch carefully to see how things are going with this therapist and hopefully be able to make the right decision in the future. Today highlighted a part of older child foster care adoption that you never hear about. An old friend of M's mother found M on her sister's facebook page. She sent a message to M asking her to call. M asked me if she could and told me that the friend was like a grandmother to her when she was little. I said she could call her and ended up talking to her myself. She sounds like a nice enough person on the phone and seemed to genuinely care about M and her siblings, but she is definitely an enabler. She went through almost the whole story of how the kids were living when she knew them and how they got taken away. Everything was the dad's fault. She glossed over the fact that the mom disappeared for almost a year and when she came back immediately gave birth to a baby that was obviously not her husband's. She didn't mention that the Mom was at a shelter and getting services and chose to spend the grocery money on cigarettes and useless crap. She is still friends with M's mom and I'm worried that if they spend time together M will think she can get back together with her mom. Right now she has a lot of resentment towards her and says she doesn't want anything to do with her, but that could very well change. There was a time when I was her age that I was given the chance to leave my family for good. I couldn't do it. Even though I thought I hated them and couldn't stand to live with them, they were my family and I just couldn't leave. I think most kids feel that way. It wouldn't surprise me if M got mad one day and ran away to live with her mother or the family friend. So all that to say that I'm nervous about her spending time with her mom and the family friend, but I won't keep her from seeing them. I do think it should wait until after the adoption is finalized for her to visit them, and M is very upset about that. She cried and said it wasn't fair, and I told her I know. It's not fair. You've had a very unfair life. I'm just trying my best to protect you and I think it would be a bad idea to see this friend before the adoption is final. She doesn't understand and thinks I'm being mean. I just hope I'm making the right decisions. I don't want her to lose those connections from her childhood, but if they are hurting her we may not have the choice. Her social worker told me that one thing not in our favor for placing her with us was that we lived so close to her mom. They were afraid we would run into her in the grocery store or something. There must be a reason that they didn't consider the mom or the family friend when M was sent back here. I wish they could tell me so we would be prepared. No one ever mentioned how you were supposed to handle relationships with birth families after adoption. I guess they assume in most cases there wouldn't be one. This case is more of a gray area because the kids were actually removed from the father. The mom just wasn't around to fight for her kids. The family friend seems to think they were removed unjustly and also said she would have adopted them. That worries me because I don't want her saying that to M before the adoption. It would really confuse and upset her to hear that she could have had a family all this time when I know it probably wasn't possible or the caseworker would have tried it (at least I hope that's the case). Well, this is already really long and rambling. I need to get to bed. Thanks for listening if you made it this far. If anyone has experience with first moms/families, please let me know.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Is the Honeymoon over?

I'm actually not talking about my marriage here, at least not much. I was warned by many, many people that we would have a "honeymoon period" with M. This is a time when things seem to be going well and behaviors are manageable and the adoptive parents are thinking, "well this isn't so hard, what was all the fuss about?". Then the child eventually realizes that you aren't like all the other temporary parents, that you really will be there forever, and they test that. A lot. I was waiting for this to happen. And waiting, and waiting. I knew it could be a year or more before the honeymoon passed, now I'm wondering if we are getting into the testing phase. It's not so bad so far. Just weird, inexplicable emotional meltdowns to really minor and bizarre things. We have an appointment with our lawyer to get a finalization date on Monday. M knows this and I think is getting really wound up about it. She never made this far before. All the families that said they would keep her didn't. I think it's going to take a long time for her to believe us. This is already stressful; add in the tension in our marriage and my husband's inability to see where her behaviors are coming from, and it's been kind of a wild ride the last couple of weeks.

Hopefully more details later. I'm hoping some day I'll have time to write again. I will post her when we get a date. I can't believe we are finally here!